Many people will argue that capital punishment is inappropriate as a propermeans of punishment for murder and rape. The truth is the death penalty is themost effective form of retributive justice for those crimes. The death penaltyis a fitting punishment for violent crime because executions maximize publicsafety through a form of incapacitation and deterrence.
The death penalty hasbeen around since the days of Moses and it is still around today. The reason forthis is simply because it works. The Jews believe that the death penalty wasGod-given and therefore a necessary part of their religious and judicial system.
The Jews use the death penalty to punish such grotesque offenses as bestialityand incest to somewhat minute charges of striking, cursing, or mere disobedienceto one’s parents. The methods the Jewish people use to inflict capitalpunishment are as varied as the crimes for which it is used: Stoning, burning,hanging, beheading, and several more less popular methods. If we look at theRoman Empire we see that crucifixion was a popular mode of execution because,not only did it get rid of the problem, it also punished the criminal with agreat deal of torture. Crucifixion is probably the most cruel way to executesomeone and therefore one of the most effective ways to deter crime. Crucifixioninvolved hanging a person to a device called a cross. The person first had tocarry his cross through his hometown and to the place of his death.
This furtherhelped to deter crime since few people want their family and friends to witnesssuch a humiliating experience. The criminal was then tied or nailed to the crosswith his knees bent. The cross was then lifted up and set into a hole in theground.
This force would dislocate every joint in the body of the criminal.While the criminal hanged there, he could push himself up on a foot pedestal sothat he could breathe. Eventually the man grew tired, suffocated, and died. TheFrench government wanted a much quicker, cleaner, and simpler way to carry outthe death penalty.
A doctor by the name of Joseph Guillotin suggested the use ofthe guillotine in 1792 and, hence, it bares his name. The death penalty hasalmost always been a part of the American judicial system. Although the methodsof inflicting the death penalty have changed since America began, the need forpunishing lawbreakers has not. While the firing squad and hanging were usedbefore the turn of the century, more modern executions are now common. Thesemodern methods include the gas chamber, the electric chair, and the lethalinjection. The lethal injection is the most widely used form of execution in theUnited States. Political leaders know the advantages of capital punishment arefar reaching, not only for the citizens themselves but for their moral values aswell.
The death penalty has been around for a long time and it will continue tobe around because it is the single greatest crime deterrent. All major worldpowers have used the death penalty as a means of controlling crime. Israelconquered all the kingdoms of their region to become the most powerful nation inthe world around the time of Moses and up to a few hundred years before Christ.Their law plainly states in Exodus 21:23, “And if any mischief follow, thenthou shalt give life for life.” The Jews followed that law flawlesslybecause they knew that if they let lawlessness go on then their government wouldsoon fail.
Hammurabi was an Ammorite ruler who conquered Mesopotamia and set upthe Babylonian Empire. He is most famous for his code of laws, called the Codeof Hammurabi. They were carved on to an eight-foot-high slab of black stone thatwas set in the middle of his capital city. Most were harsh, particularly therule an eye for an eye and a life for a life. It simply meant that whatever aperson did to some one else that person would receive the same treatment. Themost powerful nation for the last 150 years is inarguably the United States ofAmerica. The United States has always used the death penalty.
The only exceptionis the years between 1967 and 1977 when Supreme Court decision Furman v. Georgiadeclared capital punishment unconstitutional. This was a time when the people ofthe United States were in a “peace” movement. Actually, they were soblinded by the use of drugs that they were left incompetent and unable todistinguish right from wrong. Finally, in 1975, when all the drug use and”peace” movement slowed down and people came to their senses, theSupreme Court overruled the Furman v.
Georgia hearing of 1967. Thiscontroversial 1975 case, Gregg v. Georgia, stated that capital punishment didnot violate the Constitution of the United States of America. As of now, 37states use capital punishment to help prevent crime and, at one time or another,every mainland state has had the death penalty in effect. The United States orany of these state governments show no sign of falling apart.
It could be thatthe death penalty helps to stabilize their justice system, economy, and themorale of its people. Furthermore, even the United States military enforces thedeath penalty. It is the best military in the world.
It has beaten the Britishnavy, the German army, the Russian army, and the Japanese marines, just to namethe most prominent opposition. The United States military eliminates badsoldiers as a way of strengthening the entire military. A government that doesnot take care of its people soon loses its people. Despite the facts, manypeople still feel that capital punishment is wrong for various reasons. One ofthose reasons is that someone will be wrongfully executed. Here are severalsafeguards to protect the rights of criminals facing the death penalty: 1.
Capital punishment may be imposed only for a crime for which the death penaltyis prescribed by law at the time of its commission. 2. Persons below 18 years ofage, pregnant women, new mothers or persons who have become insane shall not besentenced to death. 3. Capital punishment may be imposed only when guilt isdetermined by clear and convincing evidence, leaving no room for an alternativeexplanation of the facts. 4.
Capital punishment may be carried out only after acompetent court allowing all possible safeguards to the defendant, includingadequate legal assistance renders a final judgment. 5. Anyone sentenced to deathshall receive the right to appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction. 6. Anyonesentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation ofsentenced. 7.
Capital punishment shall not be carried out pending any appealrecourse procedure or proceeding relating to pardon or commutation of thesentenced. 8. Also capital punishment shall be carried out so as to inflict theminimum possible suffering. (Laijas 2) People say that the death penalty doesnot belong in a civilized society. I could not agree more.
The trouble with thatis our society is not civilized. If it were, then there would be no murder andrape and no need for capital punishment. Some people say that the death penaltydoes not really deter crime. This can not be proven. It is impossible to knowwhat person is deterred from criminal activities. Some people are so crazy thatnothing can discourage them from committing a crime. Protesters of capitalpunishment say that since it is illegal for regular citizens to commit murderthen the state government should not be allowed to put someone to death.
Theyeven go so far as to give it a name: “Judicial homicide.” (Cox 2) Thepeople, of the people, and for the people elect the state government. It clearlyhas more rights than its citizens because the state government has to makedecisions that effect an entire people.
Besides, if the citizens truly wanted achange, they could petition or vote the lawmakers out of office. Some peoplethink that when the death penalty is involved in a trial that the verdict isautomatically going to be guilty just because people are bloodthirsty andlooking for a slaughter. This is a blatant lie. All trials in the United Statesof America are carried out via due process of the law, guaranteed under theSixth Amendment. Most importantly, the Supreme Court declared capital punishmentdid not violate the Eighth Amendment. This means that the people that wereelected by the citizens of the United States to interpret the law have found noreason to say that the death penalty should not be used.
Supreme Court Justiceshave devoted their lives to studying the law and the effects of law on history,government, nations, and people and they are the ones who can best decide if acertain law is acceptable to the people it governs. There are some irrationaland radical people that believe that everyone should have their rights no matterwhat they do. Some acts of violence are so cruel and inhuman that the individualwho committed those crimes should have all of his rights denied. Not to mistreathim, but to show him and others like him that crime will not be tolerated.Someone who kills our parents, our children, and our siblings should have noright whatsoever to live in luxury and comfort in these air-conditioned resortscalled federal penitentiaries for free.
Our tax dollars should be used to solveand end problems, not sustain them. The banning of the death penalty is absurd.If the death penalty is removed, the justice system will be ineffective.
Homeless people and people who live in poverty will commit crimes just to get anextended stay in a nice home, with plenty of socializing and good times. Let usface it, if we had the choice of living in and out of garbage bins or living ina clean, healthy, free environment, which would we choose? To eliminate thedeath penalty would be to say it is okay to mooch off of good, taxpayingcitizens. There are several benefits of the death penalty. Capital punishmentaffects a lot of people, both directly and indirectly. Here are just a fewillustrations as to why the death penalty should be imposed. Society will feelthat the justice system is working properly. When people see crime beingpunished, they sense that all things are not as bad as they seem.
If people seecriminals getting what they deserve, then those people will think that they aredoing something right by living and interacting with their government. The mostbasic principle involving the disciplining of crime is that the punishment mustfit the crime. If someone is a murderer, there is nothing else to do but to endthat persons life as well. No amount of jail time, fines, and rehabilitationcan compensate for his crime.
As for a rapist, how can you repay a rapist?Isolation from the outside world in no wise cancels his debt to society and thepeople he violated. The only way to resolve his guilt is death. One of the mostimportant factors of the death penalty is its deterrent value. Potentialcriminals are more likely to think about the total consequences of their actionsif they know their own lives are at stake. No one in their right mind will riska one time thrill or moment of revenge when they know beyond the shadow of adoubt they will die for it. Families of those who are murdered are often hurtthe worst. They obviously have a deep emotional burden to carry, but on top ofthat, they are often worried and bother by the extra financial and physical loadthat results.
If a murderer goes to jail he will be living off of his victims’family’s tax money. This is a great disrespect to that family. What is more, alot of murderers are out walking free. How can a menace to society be allowedback on the streets to haunt more good, moral citizens? I will tell you how: Itis the likes of radicals who have gone completely out of their mind to try to beliked by everyone. When everyone has been murdered there is no one to be likedby.
One of the less popular reasons that capital punishment is better than jailtime is the fact that executions are far less expensive. Food, shelter,clothing, recreation, and the numerous appeals of the incriminated cost only thetaxpayers. By treating criminals like this, we are encouraging crime rather thanimpeding it. One of the major problems of prisons today is that they areovercrowded. Execute those most vile criminals and there will be plenty of roomleft over for the minor felons. It is estimated that there are 5,000 offenderson death row each year that could and should be put to death. That translatesinto 100,000 crime deterring executions in the next 20 years.
The fact is therehave never been more than 200 executions in one year since 1933. No wonder wehave a problem with too many criminals in our prisons: One reason is that deathrow inmates take up a good bit of the room, and another is that the deterrentvalue is not as great as it can be. In conclusion, there is no better way todeter and punish violent crime than the death penalty.
It has been effectivedown through time, since the earliest civilizations. It will continue to beeffective if we exercise it in a manner that is similar to our predecessors.That is, not trying to work around it but to employ it as often as needed and ina way that affects as many people as possible.